Friday, 27 February 2015

Try your hand at this week's newsquiz

It was clearly a much tougher quiz last week with a top submitted score of 15 by Adam Batstone. Others reaching double figures were Alex Murphy with 14, Charlie Taverner and Mike Smith with 12, Lydia Willgress 11 and Chris Lennon and Damon Wake 10. Our old friend @subedited, who scored a lowly 7, asked if there could be a fashion alternative to the sports questions. The answer is No. Here is this week’s quiz - as usual there are 25 points. Let me know how you get on. 

The i's front page on cash-for-access (Q1)

1. MP Sir Malcolm Rifkind, embroiled in a cash-for-access scandal, said he could not survive on an MP’s salary. What is an MP’s salary? Bonus: Rifkind announced he is to quit as an MP after 40 years. What is his constituency?
2. Lady Gaga sang songs from which musical at the Oscars? Bonus: Julianne Moore won the Oscar for Best Actress for which film?
3. Which cricket team won their first ever World Cup game by beating Scotland?
4. Eddie Raye Routh was found guilty of murdering two men. One was Chad Littlefield, who was the other?
5. Ed Balls was described as a 'sexy beast' on which website?
6. Three Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested for doing what in Paris?
7. Why was Joshua Leakey in the headlines?
8. Which of these did not win an award at the Brits - Pharrel Williams, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith, the Foo Fighters, George Ezra, Paloma Faith, One Direction? Bonus: Which designer did Madonna ‘blame’ for her wardrobe malfunction? Bonus: Who led the protest against Kanye West’s use of the N-word by saying: 'I don’t think it is OK for a black man to use the N-word ... I don’t think it should be said and become normal.'
9. Five English football teams took part in European competitions this week. Four lost and one won. Who won?
10. A video of a couple having sex on the centre spot of which football ground got more than a million hits on social media?
11. How is Mohammed Emwazi more commonly known?
12. According to the coroner Sheriff Payne, aircrew and frequent fliers are at risk from what?
13. During which two months has it been proposed that the 2022 World Cup games will be played?
14. Which company paid out £421million in bonuses in 2014 despite a loss of £3.5 billion? Bonus: Which company confirmed it will resume paying dividends to shareholders for the first time since 2008?
15. Islamic State extremists used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artwork at a museum in which city?
16. Ed Miliband is considering plans to reduce the maximum level of university tuition fees in England from £9,000 to how much?
17. According to the Department of Transport 500,000 drivers do what illegally every day?
18. A Cambridge University study showed that doing what could double the risk of having a stroke?
19. Who issued a statement saying: 'I have never, in my life, assaulted anyone and I remain confident the truth will prevail’?
20. The Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee recommended replacing what with a levy? 
Answers here

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Forever Young ...

You may think this looks like a couple of desperate vagrants on the streets of London. But in fact it is two of Britain's best and most respected newspaper editors. On the left is Ted Young, editor of Metro, and on the right is Peter Barron, MBE, who has been editor of The Northern Echo for an astonishing 16 years. They were at the Emirates on Sunday to see Middlesbrough lose to Arsenal in the FA Cup. To add to the confusion Peter, a Teessider, is an Arsenal supporter and Southerner Ted follows Newcastle. Ted says the best bit was watching Peter being branded a southern softie by Boro fans queuing at Arsenal tube station. Peter says it was a momentous occasion: "Ted bought a round! Never seen that many moths." We were all on the Echo together 25 years ago. Nice to know their humour and their dress sense have stayed the same.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Another layout cock-up

Canapes and what? Here's an unfortunate error from the Suffolk Free Press. Note to subs (or reporters writing directly to the page) ALWAYS, ALWAYS check that the headline hasn't busted.

Try your hand at this week's newsquiz

There were lots of good scores in last week's newsquiz ... the best being a huge 19 out of 25 by Michael Owens. Damon Wake was spurred on by the foreign questions to get an impressive 17, the same score as Ailsa Leslie. Lydia Willgress and the South West News newsroom in Plymouth clocked up 15.5 as a team effort. Some non-journalists also got into double figures, including Michael Bryan with 11 and Carole Naseby with 10. Well done to them. Here are this week's questions ... as usual there are 25 points up for grabs. Let me know how you get on. 
Dumper truck tragedy as reported by the Mirror
(See Question 2)

1. Harriet Harman defended the colour of Labour’s pink bus. What three words are on the arrows on the sides of the bus? Bonus: Harman also defended herself against a claim that she had told Councillor Karen Danczuk she was 'far too pretty for politics' and should be in ______ _____. What are the blanks?  
2. In which city did a runaway dumper truck kill four people?
3. Who won the Bafta for lead actress? Bonus: The BBC received complaints over Bafta host Stephen Fry’s language, including giving one of the stars the middle name ‘F***ing’? Which star? Bonus: At the Grammy Awards in America Kanye West interrupted whose acceptance speech for the Album of the Year?
4. Which non-European country has been invited to take part in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest?
5. What was the name of the 26-year-old American hostage murdered by ISIS?
6. One Premier League manager was reportedly sacked and then reinstated this week - and one was just sacked. Name them both. Half point for each.
7. What do MP Zac Goldsmith, German-born automotive heir Georg von Opel, Lord Sterling of Plaistow and Lord Fink have in common?
8. Why did Sir Michael Gambon say he was retiring from the stage?
9. Devinder Kainth has been charged with murder in the Costa Del Sol after allegedly catching his victim doing what? 
10. The Premier League has sold television rights to its games for a record amount. How much?
11. Where have retired couple Alan Lane and Kristina Smith been living for four months?
12. Ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn told a court in France that he only attended how many sex parties in three years?
13. Why was Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the headlines?
14. The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany gathered in which city to negotiate a peace agreement for Ukraine? Bonus: The ceasefire that was agreed at the meeting comes into force when? 
15. Police officers in Wiltshire, Wales and Cheshire asked newsagents for what?
16. According to research by the British Heart Foundation, 40 per cent of people lie about what?
17. The opening ceremonies for the Cricket World Cup were held in which two cities? Half point each. Bonus: Who will England play in their first game?
18. Who said: 'A society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is a depressed society.’?
19. Francesco Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia, which sank killing 32 people, was sentenced to how long in jail?
20. An auction at a Conservative Party fundraiser at Grosvenor House included the opportunity to do what with Home Secretary Theresa May?

Answers here

Ooh baby ... another headline that sings

Here's another song lyric headline to add to the collection. This one is from The Evening News in Edinburgh. Thanks to Sunday World TV editor Daragh Keany for flagging it up. There are more here

Heartbreak on the front page

Here's a poignant and heartbreaking page from this week's Bath Chronicle. A typical deft touch by designer Sian David.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Rapping about the death of newspapers

'Shut down the papers was Hitler's first dictum. Now we've done it to our own damn system.' Here's a mournful rap lamenting the death of newspapers. Definitely worth a listen. 

Front Page of the Year: The shortlist

It was a pleasure as always to catch up with old colleagues at the Press Awards judging day in London last week. I am now looking forward to the event itself next month ... a guaranteed great night out. The shortlists have been announced now and are listed here. Nice to see so many people I have worked with and trained included. One of my favourite awards is Front Page of the Year. Page 1 is such a critical and creative part of what newspapers do. Persuading people to pick up a newspaper by using a mix of words, images, type and colour on a piece of paper is a great art. The shortlisted six in this year's awards are all excellent and there is a good mix - three qualities, one middle-market, two red-tops, two Sundays, four dailies - and six strong stories. A tough task for the judges ... which would you go for?
NB: I wasn't a judge in this category and have no idea who has won.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Test your news knowledge with this week's quiz

Last week's newsquiz must have been bit tougher than usual - the highest submitted score was a modest 11 by Damon Wake. This week's should be a little easier. As usual there are 20 questions, with five bonuses, so 25 points up for grabs. Let me know how you get on. 

The Mirror reports on flight GE235
(See question 11)

1. How many games did Andy Murray win in his final set against Djovak Nokovic in the Australian Open? Bonus: What were the four words on the shirt that Kim Sears wore for the final?
2. The ‘sequel' to the novel To Kill a Mockingbird is to be published 55 years after the original? What is the sequel to be called? Bonus: Name the author.
3. Whose widow and children have gone to court in San Francisco in a row over his estate?
4. What, according to Chief Medical Officer Prof Dame Sally Davies, will put the UK at the forefront of scientific development?
5. Why was Alan Barnes in the headlines?
6. Detroit factory worker James Robertson, 56, walks how many miles a day to go to and from work?
7. Who won the Super Bowl? Bonus: What was the score? 
8. The shadow education secretary announced that Labour would enforce 'zero tolerance' of homophobic bullying in 'every classroom, dinner hall and playground’. Who is the shadow education secretary?
9. Which TV station broadcast the full video footage of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh being burned alive? Bonus: Jordan’s King pledged to wage 'relentless war' on the Islamic State as result of the murder. What is the king’s name?
10. Which town’s council's cabinet resigned after being branded 'not fit for purpose'?
11. Flight TransAsia GE235, with 58 people on board, plunged into the Keeling River in the capital city of Taiwan. What is the capital of Taiwan?
12. Australian journalist Peter Greste was released from an Egyptian jail after 400 days. Who does Greste work for?
13. Stefano Pessina, the acting boss of which high street company, said Ed Miliband’s policies were ‘not helpful for business and not helpful for the country’?
Bonus: When Ed Balls was challenged on Newsnight to name a single boss supporting the Labour Party, he could only think of a man called what?
14. Whose new album, released this week, features ten cover versions of standards from the American Popular Songbook, all of which had been previously performed by Frank Sinatra?
15. Who said this week 'We wish nothing but happiness and the very best for one another. I'm trying to stay strong in my faith right now.’?
16. Chief executive Dick Costolo has admitted that his company ‘sucks' when it comes to dealing with abuse and trolling. Which company?
17. What did Nick Reynolds put in his van in the North Yorks Moors and take back to his home in Poppleton, 40 miles away?
18. Until Friday March 13, Sir Ian McKellen will be the voice of what?
19. US Secretary of State John Kerry, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all visited which city this week?
20. What was Kate Lancaster trying to buy at Tesco Metro in Plymouth when a warning appeared saying the product was age restricted?

Answers here